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Stan says his son's fan-package plan wasn't a surprise to him at all. He shares a story about Josh's 7th birthday party.
"He wanted to watch Monty Python — that's all he ever watched back then. The other little boys were just not into it, and so they split. He [Josh] was crestfallen. He couldn't understand why other 7-year-olds couldn't get into The Holy Grail. That's when I knew we were in for a ride."
As a child, Freese convinced his father to bring down a set of drums from the attic in their Placentia, California, home. Stan sat down and played a simple beat. Freese was able to follow right away.
"We couldn't get him into toys and stuff. All he carried around, even starting at 2 years old, was drumsticks. He came in knowing he was going to be a drummer, and if we wanted to be a part of it, that was cool. And if not, that was cool, too."
Freese began practicing to records. Devo's Freedom of Choice was among the first records he owned, in addition to Queen's The Game, the Police's Zenyattà Mondatta and Van Halen's first self-titled LP. He later went on to play songs off Zenyattà Mondatta with Sting in front of 400,000 people, and he has been with Devo for the past 13 years.
Disneyland, meanwhile, wasn't just Freese's second home; it was where he got his start as a professional musician. When he was 12, he played the electric drums on the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage in a cover band called Polo that had appeared — and won — on Junior Star Search.
Following his stint at Disneyland, the 16-year-old Freese went on a worldwide tour with The Young and the Restless star/singer Michael Damian.
Soon after that, Freese played with Dweezil Zappa and joined the Vandals. Joe Escalante, an entertainment lawyer and radio host who is the Vandals' bass player, says he has admired Freese's talents since 1990.
"After the first Vandals practice with Josh, I told Warren [Fitzgerald] and Dave [Quackenbush] that at some point, we're just going to be sitting around bragging about being in a band with Josh Freese to anyone who will listen," he says. "Twenty years later, that has come to pass. He's found a way to make the most out of being a professional drummer and somehow stay rooted with his original band, friends and family.
"Here's my second prediction," Escalante continues. "He's going to be the first drummer to break into the David Byrne-Peter Gabriel-Radiohead stratosphere in terms of talent and ingenuity, and it's going to be fun to see where he ends up. Will he get the same recognition he gets behind the kit? Just how far ahead of his time is he?"
Anytime you start talking about musicians making money, the words "sell out" pop up.
Freese says he has seen a few negative responses on fan message boards and blogs, reacting to the prices of the more outlandish upper-tier packages. The $20,000 one, in particular, has stirred up controversy.
The package was purchased by Tom Mrzyglocki, a 19-year-old in Melbourne, Florida. A big fan of Devo, A Perfect Circle and the Vandals, Mrzyglocki flew out to Long Beach for a week in early April and got to spend a night on the Queen Mary, play a round of miniature golf with Escalante and Keenan, have a pizza party with Mothersbaugh, and pick out three items from Freese's closet (a custom Devo shirt, a Vandals hoodie and a Tempur-Pedic travel pillow from Brookstone). Mrzyglocki was treated to a few bonus incentives such as taking a yoga class with Amdurer, hanging out with members of Tool at a Puscifer show, and attending a Vandals show and a recording session with Slash.